Earthquake Minister Brownlee announces new temporary village for quake-affected residents; 20 units now plus 43 to come

Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced another temporary village for earthquake-affected residents will be set up in Christchurch.

The village at Rawhiti Domain will initially have 20 two-bedroom units, while there was the potential for a further 43 units, Brownlee said. The 63 new units would take the amount of temporary houses provided by the government in Christchurch to 126, Brownlee said.

The announcement comes after the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand said earlier this week there was a crisis surrounding the availability of short-term rental accommodation for Christchurch residents to move into while their homes were being repaired.

See the release from Brownlee's office;

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has today announced the development of a new temporary village at Rawhiti Domain to help meet increasing demand for short term rental housing.

“The government has long recognised there is a role to play in providing temporary accommodation for those who, for whatever reason, are out of their homes for a short period because of the quakes,” Mr Brownlee said.

“We set up the Canterbury Earthquake Temporary Accommodation Service (CETAS) in early 2011 to help households find temporary accommodation, and we acted quickly to provide temporary accommodation by building villages in Kaiapoi and Linwood Park.”

CETAS staff work with householders to assess their accommodation needs, and match and place them with the best available housing.  This includes homes in the private rental market, and in the temporary villages.

“Since April 4 last year the CETAS team has dealt with over 1800 people who’ve made inquiries about what to do about housing,” Mr Brownlee said.

“CETAS is currently working with over 300 households who require temporary accommodation, and a further 100 who have indicated they will require short term housing in the near future.”

The team has always looked to the private rental market first, and has helped more than 250 households find accommodation this way.

The two existing villages have been well utilised, with 64 families having stayed for a period and moved back into their repaired homes.  The average length of stay has been 12 weeks.

“The villages are also working well for red zone residents who have accepted the government’s offer and need a temporary place to stay while their new homes are built,” Mr Brownlee said.

“Feedback from residents living in the villages has been very positive, but as the repair and rebuild programme ramps up, demand for short term rentals is rising.

“We’ve been monitoring demand at the villages and the private market, and the time has come to increase supply to reflect where that the repair and rebuild process is at.

“When we planned the first villages we purchased an inventory of similar buildings which could be rapidly relocated onto other areas if demand began to exceed supply.

“The time has come to begin utilising this resource, so today I’m announcing that over the coming weeks we will be rolling out a further 20 two bedroom units on the Rawhiti Domain in New Brighton.

"A further 43 units will be placed on that site over the following months, as the need arises.

“This will take the number of houses across Kaiapoi, Linwood Park and Rawhiti Domain to 126,” Mr Brownlee said.

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10 Comments

More absolute stupidity.
 
Why not fix some of the thousands of unoccupied rental properties first instead of repainting perfectly fine houses in the west and booting the occupants out forcing them into short term rentals!!
 
These guys at CERA and EQC at absolute fools.  Gerry and co need to get it together.
 
Today we also have them rezoning about $2m of land sited right behind a brand new multi million dollar retaining wall built to protect Fitzgerald Ave, how could it possibly cost more than $400/m2 to fix land between solid ground and that retaining wall when the land itself had minimal liquefaction?  How is it also possible that the elevated land further along River Rd that suffered no liquefaction or significant movement is also zoned Red?
 
These guys are just plain lazy and I bet more motivated to provide a park (probably in their own honour!!) on these prime parcels of land.
 
It is now just absurd what is happening in the centre of ChCh.  Recovery will be decades away - and the building that has occured so far is nothing short of rubbish unworthy of being built in Baghdad let alone any supposed state of the art city.

Hard to get at the truth. We are always hearing that  beaurocrats are stupid and developers are the ones to do things cheaply and correctly (and get filthy rich in the process).
 

Yes, most bureaucrats think they have open cheque books - as do many developers (who inevitably end up bankrupt).  Ask long term investors if you want advice how to get the city operational - prudence and frugality is our mantra.

I haven't seen the MacKenzie hydro development trumpeted much but (somewhere) I read that at its time it was the largest assemblage of earth moving equipment in the world. To house the workers they brought in 1000 houses and laid them out so everyone gets the sun and they insulated them well (back in those days). The developers (whoever they were sure did a great job).
 

Have you visited Twizel and Otematata?  They aren't exactly model towns.  (The developers were the Ministry of Works and it shows - not in a good way).

How would private developers have done it better?

jh, to be clear about what you believe is "enduring" MOW architecture here are some examples:
 
A typical T house in Otematata:
http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential/for-sale/auction-457270511...
A typical hardiplank "Works" house
http://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential/for-sale/auction-460738237...
 
Need I say more?

It was never intended to be enduring but seems fit for purpose with a yard for the kids. I wonder what private developers would have done better???
---------

At its peak in 1964-65, Otematata had a population of over 4,000 and a hydro construction workforce of around 1,500. The workforce was made up of about 1,000 Ministry of Works wage workers and 300 staff, and 200 contractors and NZED staff. According to Sheridan (1995), there were some 900 houses, 80 clubs and organisations, two schools, a cinema, shopping centre, and numerous other services and facilities established by the MWD. The layout of the town was patterned on a Scandinavian design previously used for the North Island hydrotown Mangakino with most of the prefabricated houses having been previously used at the Roxburgh Hydro, Hawea, and even Tekapo (Bendien, 1983).

The Upper Waitaki Scheme

The whole scheme was planned to add nearly 850 MW of generating capacity and to increase the operating efficiency of the power stations downstream in the Waitaki Valley.
Construction of the Upper Waitaki Scheme began in 1968, with the assembling in the Mackenzie Basin of the largest ever New Zealand fleet of earthmoving equipment. Prior to the completion of a new hydro construction town, Twizel, to be located on State Highway 8 (SH8) between Pukaki and Omarama, workers travelled daily to and from Otematata. As the project scaled up, 550 houses constructed in MWD workshops in Otematata to meet the more rigorous climate of Mackenzie Basin, and to last the 12-15 year construction
period, were moved onto the new town site. Single men’s camps, the town infrastructure, and an industrial complex were established (Bendien, 1983).
Some 600 families and single workers were transferred from Otematata to Twizel over the next 4-5 years, leaving only about 1,300 residents around a core of NZED operations staff at Otematata. While Otematata was intended to only continue to house NZED workers, there was sufficient demand for property that Waitaki County Council took over the town and the 240 houses the MWD agreed to leave in place. Most of these houses were snapped up by people wanting holiday homes close to Lakes Benmore and Aviemore, though some were acquired by contractors working on the Upper Waitaki Scheme. By the time of the 1976 Census, the resident population of Otematata was down to 677, made up of NZED workers, retired people, and various government and council employees.
Over the early 1970's the Upper Waitaki Scheme and the town of Twizel grew dramatically. At the peak of construction in around 1976 there were 1,224 family homes and approximately 800 single men’s cabins in Twizel - most of which belonged to the MWD and occupied by its 1,900 employees - and the total population was around 5,000 (Bendien, 1983).

TWIZEL AND ITS DEVELOPMENT
As noted above, the town began as a “green fields” MWD hydro construction town in 1970.
//
the town was intended to serve as a home for the Upper Waitaki construction workforce for 12 to 15 years,the retention of a scaled down Otematata after the completion of the Benmore and Aviemore dams meant that Twizel’s long term destiny was not certain. Indeed, in a 1974 publicity brochure, the MWD envisaged the town might survive in the long term as a base for the power scheme’s operating workforce, and as a possible
tourist resort (MWD). Despite arguments by government ministers that the town was always intended to be removed, its residents fought and won the battle for its continued life beyond that of a construction camp.
Ironically, the retention of the town was partly the result of the end of state involvement on hydro construction and the disbanding of the MWD, which meant some workers wanted to retire there.
The founding population was the 600 MWD hydro construction workers and their families who began transferring from Otematata in 1970. This followed a period of uncertainty for Otematata workers over the future of state hydro construction and the continuation of their employment, and a subsequent union ban on transfers to Twizel until the ministry had resolved worker’s concerns over the quality of housing to be provided. Construction of the town was co-ordinated from Otematata where MWD carpenters produced
relocatable houses which were transported to Twizel and prepared for occupation. In 1970, As Otematata wound down, Twizel rapidly took shape, with 125 houses, 200 single men’s quarters and facilities in position at the beginning of 1970, rising to 620 family homes and 300 single men’s cabins, and a population over 3,000, by late 1971 (Bendien, 1983). The first shops were completed by contractors by the beginning of
1971. As labour requirements rose the town expanded, and by the peak of the Upper Waitaki Scheme’s construction in 1976, there were around 1200 family homes, and 800 single men’s huts. It also had a full range of commercial, recreational and social services, including a large primary school, secondary school, community centre complex, shopping centre, and around 100 clubs and societies. This made Twizel the second biggest settlement in South Canterbury after Timaru, and as some locals noted, it already had “an air of permanence”.
While the town and its amenities belonged to the MWD and the project engineer had ultimate control

www.tba.co.nz/pdf_papers/2000_wp_22_twizel.pdf
 
 

Private developers would add value and market off shore (Russia, Shanghai)?

Waiting........?
 
Interesting topic. The late Owen McShane used to point to Eastern Europe as an example of the state as the developer and Hugh Pavletich points to Woodlands in Houston as the ideal development. You can cherry pick, but that doesn't provide an answer.